Is a good night’s rest an elusive dream for you? Then you may be one of the more than 12 million Americans who suffer from a sleep disorder, such as snoring, insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea, which is the more common type of apnea, occurs when the soft tissue at the back of the throat relaxes and blocks the airway. Sleep apnea is characterized by breathing pauses and/or shallow breaths that can last 10 seconds or longer and occur five to more than 30 times per hour. The repeated pattern of breathing interruptions can cause any or all of the following symptoms:
• loud snoring
• excessive daytime sleepiness
• morning headaches
• difficulty remaining asleep
• waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
Long-term, untreated sleep apnea can increase the risk of the following:
• high blood pressure
• heart attack
• heart failure
• work-related or driving accidents
Anyone can have sleep apnea, including children. It is more common in men, people who are overweight or obese, smokers, adults older than 65, African Americans and Hispanics.
A sleep study may be recommended if you have problems going to sleep or staying asleep, awake often during the night, wake up too early in the morning, fall asleep at inappropriate times during the day or have been told that you snore. The study is used to diagnose sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, and develop treatment programs to restore regular breathing during sleep and relieve associated symptoms.
What is a sleep study? A sleep study allows for the monitoring of brain activity, eye movements, oxygen level, muscle tone, heart rate and blood pressure while you sleep. Sleep stages, amount of snoring, body position and general sleep behavior also are evaluated as well.
Before scheduling a sleep study you may be asked to schedule a consult with our board-certified sleep medicine physician to review your medical history and discuss your sleep habits. Most sleep studies are conducted at night so that normal sleep patterns can be studied, but day time tests are also available at the Lake Pointe Sleep Center.
Upon completion and interpretation of your sleep study, a report will be provided to your primary care physician. At that time, you may need to follow-up with your primary care physician, be scheduled for additional testing, and/or be placed on a treatment plan for your sleep disorder. One treatment option for people with moderate to severe sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). A CPAP machine gently blows just enough air through a mask worn over the mouth and nose to prevent airways from becoming narrowed or blocked while sleeping.
Many people do not know they have a sleep disorder until a family member or bed partner notices the signs of the disorder. To schedule a sleep study, speak with your primary care physician or call The Sleep Center at Lake Pointe Medical Center at 1-888-98-SLEEP (75337) to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified sleep medicine physician.
Lake Pointe Health Network
6800 Scenic Drive
Rowlett, TX 75088